In an attempt to downplay the fact that they are buying condoms, they'll also pick up vitamins, a newspaper, beef jerky, sunscreen, reading glasses, candy bars, decongestant, paper towels, cat food, more vitamins, a soda, batteries, shaving cream, vitamins (with added riboflavin), fishing line, shoelaces, potato chips, and condoms, thinking that the clerk, utterly overwhelmed by the onslaught of incongruous items, will be oblivious to the fact that condoms are a part of the purchase and therefore not think about the sexual activity of the already embarrassed customer.
I have never been ashamed to buy condoms. Not once.* I make it my singular purchase. I walk around holding the box over my head, saying it loud, and saying it proud:
"Hey. Check me out. Look at these. Guess where I'm going to put them. Totally! And then guess where I'm going to put them? Right! In a vagina! Yeah, I know, the 12-pack. I got a good feeling about this one... Yup. Hey you, look at my purchase..."Nowhere was this nonchalant attitude more pronounced than with my time with Stacy. (All names have been changed to protect the Sexy. My name in this story is Jacques. Just because.)
Stacy and I had been dating for a while. We had definitely passed the physical barrier that new relationships always need to hurdle. We had seen each other naked, maybe even a bunch of times. But it was still young, this relationship, still a little flirty. The end-of-date conversation was still probably going as such:
Jacques: So, what do you wanna do?[coy look]
Stacy: I dunno, what do you wanna do?[coy look]
Jacques: I dunno... we could... [super coy look]
This type of conversation can often go on for a good two hours or so, the coyness of the looks increasing exponentially to nearly nauseating proportions. This is usually at the point before which the relationship gets to this stage of routine blandness:
Jacques: So... you wanna?
Stacy: Yeah alright.
Jacques: Let's get this thing over with.
Don't act like you've never been there.
So Stacy and I have just spent the last two hours out-coying one another, and we've made a decision: Her place, naked antics. There's just one problem: we're out of condoms. No sweat, I say, there is a pharmacy two blocks from here, and we walk to the pharmacy hand in hand, full of pre-coital giddiness. We peruse the aisles of the family planning section. I joke about buying the Magnums. She is sweet but realistic, and we settle on the blue box. We walk to the check-out, and miracle of miracles, there is no line. I toss the box on the counter, the clerk rings up the purchase.
I pay. After all, I'm a gentleman.
Clerk: "Do you want a bag for that?"
Jacques: "No, that's okay, I'll just wear them out."
Clerk laughs. Jacques laughs. Stacy doesn't laugh.
Stacy turns crimson, and without a word, does an about-face and walks straight out of the pharmacy.
I find her on the sidewalk, holding her stomach, still flushed. "I can't believe you!"
Foolishly, I had thought that Stacy and I were on the same page about such transactions. As a fool, I was wrong.
It is not long after this that Jacques is single again, and only buys condoms every two weeks so people think he is getting laid on occasion. He's been asked not to return to two different pharmacies, but that is another story.
Next: Buying Pornography For The Single Man.
But seriously, folks: Think twice or maybe thirty times before having kids, OK?
(originally published 1/21/2008)
*since the original publication of this post, it has been impossible to buy condoms without overly self-referential embarrassment, for some reason.